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Profiles
Profiles
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9
S
TEM
­ science, technology, engineering and math ­ is one
­ science, technology, engineering and math ­ is one
hot topic. Lately, it seems everyone from the White House on
hot topic. Lately, it seems everyone from the White House on
down is stressing the importance of STEM education. And
down is stressing the importance of STEM education. And
Middlesex is no exception.
Middlesex is no exception.
Enrollment in MCC's STEM programs has increased almost 10
Enrollment in MCC's STEM programs has increased almost 10
percent in recent semesters, and overall STEM enrollments have
percent in recent semesters, and overall STEM enrollments have
gone up 84 percent over the last five years, according to Kathleen
gone up 84 percent over the last five years, according to Kathleen
Sweeney, Dean of STEM.
Sweeney, Dean of STEM.
"The increase in enrollment reflects what's happening in the
"The increase in enrollment reflects what's happening in the
workplace," said Sweeney. "STEM is very, very broad and
workplace," said Sweeney. "STEM is very, very broad and
encompasses lots of disciplines. There are more jobs in STEM
encompasses lots of disciplines. There are more jobs in STEM
fields and people are becoming more aware of that ­ and more
fields and people are becoming more aware of that ­ and more
interested in preparing for those careers."
interested in preparing for those careers."
Middlesex is committed to helping students complete degrees and
Middlesex is committed to helping students complete degrees and
certificates in STEM fields, explained Sweeney. As part of state and
certificates in STEM fields, explained Sweeney. As part of state and
national initiatives, the college has enhanced ­ and in some cases
national initiatives, the college has enhanced ­ and in some cases
totally redesigned ­ many of its STEM programs of study, including:
totally redesigned ­ many of its STEM programs of study, including:
ˇInformation
ˇInformation Technology
Technology Transfer
Transfer - Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity
ˇEngineering
ˇEngineering
ˇComputer
ˇComputer Science
Science - Secure
Secure Software
Software Development
Development
ˇEngineering
ˇEngineering Technology
Technology -- Computer
Computer Aided
Aided Design
Design (CAD)
(CAD)
And the Mathematics Program has been restructured to better
And the Mathematics Program has been restructured to better
prepare students entering STEM programs.
prepare students entering STEM programs.
The overall goal is to help students persist in their studies and
The overall goal is to help students persist in their studies and
graduate into promising STEM careers, said Sweeney. "When
graduate into promising STEM careers, said Sweeney. "When
students come to Middlesex, they often don't know what their
students come to Middlesex, they often don't know what their
gifts and strengths are. They just have an idea of what they want
gifts and strengths are. They just have an idea of what they want
to be ­ for example, a nurse or an engineer," she said.
to be ­ for example, a nurse or an engineer," she said.
"We want to do a better job of explaining exactly what skills are
"We want to do a better job of explaining exactly what skills are
needed for different professions, and what is the best match for
needed for different professions, and what is the best match for
each student. With our enhanced STEM programs, we have created a
each student. With our enhanced STEM programs, we have created a
variety of different pathways for students to find success."
variety of different pathways for students to find success."
Redesigning these STEM programs has been accomplished through
Redesigning these STEM programs has been accomplished through
cross-college collaboration among science, technology, engineering
cross-college collaboration among science, technology, engineering
Rebooting
Rebooting
STEM
Programs of Study
Programs of Study
to
to Meet the
Meet the
Growing Need
and math faculty ­ with input from MCC's industry advisory boards,
and math faculty ­ with input from MCC's industry advisory boards,
explained Donald Brady, Assistant Dean of STEM.
explained Donald Brady, Assistant Dean of STEM.
"We constantly review our curriculum and programs, and adjust to
"We constantly review our curriculum and programs, and adjust to
workforce needs," said Brady. "We meet regularly with our Information
workforce needs," said Brady. "We meet regularly with our Information
Technology, Engineering, and Computer Aided Design advisory boards,
Technology, Engineering, and Computer Aided Design advisory boards,
and they help us define what our curriculum should be.
and they help us define what our curriculum should be.
"We validate the program to make sure it's meeting industry
"We validate the program to make sure it's meeting industry
requirements. Then, we meet with our four-year educational partners
requirements. Then, we meet with our four-year educational partners
to make sure we offer sound foundational curriculum," he said. "We
to make sure we offer sound foundational curriculum," he said. "We
want our two-year programs to align with the four-year programs our
want our two-year programs to align with the four-year programs our
students transfer to."
students transfer to."
Working closely with both industry and educational partners ensures
Working closely with both industry and educational partners ensures
that Middlesex STEM students are well equipped to play important
that Middlesex STEM students are well equipped to play important
roles in the knowledge-based economy, explained Brady.
roles in the knowledge-based economy, explained Brady.
"Our mission is to educate people and prepare them to be productive
"Our mission is to educate people and prepare them to be productive
citizens. The best way to do that is to give them the skills and
citizens. The best way to do that is to give them the skills and
knowledge regional employers are looking for."
knowledge regional employers are looking for."
ˇ
--
Kathy Register
Kathy Register
Dean of STEM Kathleen Sweeney (left to right) with U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, Assistant
Dean of STEM Donald Brady, and MCC President James Mabry. Kennedy and U.S. Rep. Niki
Tsongas praised Middlesex STEM education and workforce development programs during a
campus visit in January.